David Huffman was the original proprietor of the townsite of St. Paris, which was surveyed and platted in September,
1831. It was the intention to call the village New Paris, but upon learning of another place in the state by the
same name, the prefix, "Saint", was adopted instead of "New". The first house erected on the
site was that of David Huffman, the proprietor of the townsite. The first frame house worthy of mention was built
by John Falkner shortly after the village was laid out. Among the first taverns was the one kept by William Rosebro
and known as the LaRue tavern. Jacob Protsman was the proprietor of the first blacksmith shop, which stood on Main
street. One of the early grocers was Dan Putman, who had a store on West Main street. After the Columbus &
Piqua railroad was built through the village the growth of the town was comparatively rapid.
The additions which have been made to the town include the following: David Huffman, October 6, 1832; James Huffman
and Lemuel Taylor, July 1, 1850; John Snapp, April 23, 1851; John Walker, ten lots, March 17, 1852; John Snapp,
March 17, 1852; John Huffman, July 27, 1853; John Snapp, sixteen lots, November 8, 1854; Jeremiah H. Klapp, March,
1855; J. S. Leedom, July 3, 1855; Hamilton, Apple & Richeson, thirty one lots, March 26, 1855; D. W. White,
ten lots, 1856; D. W. White, eight lots, January 2, 1857; D. W. White, five lots, October 14, 1857; D. W. White,
January, 1858; David Scott, March 24, 1859; B. F. Golden, April 22, 1864; B. F. Golden, April 25, 1864; B. F. Golden,
July 27, 1864; B. F. Golden, April 2, 1868; Samuel Bowersock, September, 1867; John Poorman, March 9, 1874; Ezra
Furrow, April 7, 1874; David Strock, April 7, 1874; Ezra Furrow, October 11, 1879; John McMorran, June 8, 1881;
A. E. Davis, March 17, 1882; Furrow, Rhodes and Barley, July 12, 1882; North Park Place, August 14, 1882; McMorran
and D. C. Gondeis, July 12, 1882; Wm. C. Moore, November 2, 1886; D. Dugan, April 26, 1888.
On February 8, 1858, a petition signed by fifty seven persons was presented to the county commissioners asking
incorporation of the village. The first mayor was John F. Riker. The officials at the present time consist of the
following: Asa Taylor, mayor; Cory Landingburg, marshal; John H. Myers, clerk; M. Powers, treasurer; Ira Hollis,
Charles Kizer, W. B. Hill, S. E. Kite, James E. Kite and O. B. Proctor, councilmen.
The postoffice dates from a few years after the village was laid out. The name of the first postmaster cannot
be ascertained with certainty, but among the early postmasters was Jesse Long. Among others have been the following:
"Daddy" Wort, Captain Beard, N. Scott, George Kelley, John French, Aaron Riker, William Huffman, J. J.
Leedom and J. H. Biddle, the present incumbent, who was appointed on March 17, 1914. Radiating from this office
are five rural mail routes, which serve two thousand one hundred and one patrons. The total receipts shown on the
last report were $7,833.94. Eleven mails are received daily and nine sent out.
ST. PARIS SCHOOLS.
The first school in the village was held in the house of David Huffman, and the first school house used by the
people of St. Paris was a log structure built in 1830 on the land now used as a cemetery, a short distance north
of town. Some years later the location of the school was changed to the site of the present school building standing
a short distance northwest of the corporate limits of the village. Among the teachers who taught in this early
day may be mentioned Messrs. Thatcher, Faulkner, Gardner, Wiant, John Russell, and Miss Sally Armstrong.
The first school within the present St. Paris district was a frame building erected in 1851, a part of which is
now used as a residence. Dan Deach and D. W. White were members of the first school board under the free school
system and the first teachers to serve were Thurza Furrow and William Stapleton. In 1860 an intermediate and a
secondary high school were established on the second floor of a building erected by the Sons of Temperance. The
first high school teacher was Marion Ross, who later enlisted in the Union Army and served as one of the famous
scouting party that attempted to break the Confederate railway connections at Big Shanty. He was captured and was
later hanged as a spy at Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1867 a three story brick building was erected. It was opened on September 5, 1868, for school purposes. James
G. Blair was the first superintendent. The other teachers were Mary Woods, grammar grades; Sarah Armstrong and
Miss Drury, intermediate and primary, respectively. Blair was followed by E. D. Whitlock, W. W. Evans, F. M. Porsh
and G. W. Snider, in the order given. In 1880 the present school building was erected. The first superintendent
in the new building was A. Powell, who was succeeded by the following in the order named: T. S. Dixon, W. M. Howes,
G. W. Miller; L. I. Morse, J. M. Reason, G. E. Stevenson, D. C. Bryant, J. H. Fortney, W. C. Coleman, and J. M.
Turner, the present incumbent. The teachers who assisted Professor Turner during the past year include the following:
Blanche Lowther, Florence Wyman, Harvey Loudenback, Bertha McBeth, Tillie Kiser, Verda Klapp, Christina Nitchman,
Glenn Frye and Florence Jones. The enrollment for the school year was two hundred and seventy one, sixty eight
of whom were in the high school. With the erection of the new seventy five thousand dollar school building, the
finest in the county, St. Paris will doubtless become quite an educational center, and the resulting influence
will surely serve as a reward for those who have labored for better schools.
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES.
Following is a roster by classes of the graduates who have gone from the St. Paris high school:
1879 - Frank W. Fromme, Ida Knull-Smith, I. N. McAllister, Emma Northcutt-Talbott.
1880 - C. E. Buroker, J. H. Biddle, Forest James, J. T. Hamilton, A. E. B. Helmick, Estella Riker-Fromme, Retta
Flowers, Effa Furrow-Fiedler.
1883 - Grant V. Fromme, U. F. Pond, John W. Millette.
1884 - Claude D. W. Kelley.
1885 - George C. Paxton, deceased; E. O. Furrow.
1887 - Harvey R. Nixon, J. Truman Nixon, Burt L. French, U. S. G. Mitchell, Iola Batdorf-Kizer, Alice C. Nixon-Robinson,
Maggie Klapp-Bull, Mary Spitler-Wood, Emma Zimmer.
1888 - A. C. Bolinger, B. E. Thomas, deceased; A. W. Bull, Mary Gordon-Holleran, Maggie Huddleston-Marsh, Lizzie
1890 - Ella Leathley-Kinsinger, Minnie Hendrickson-Pettigrew, Frank Zimmer.
1891 - John E. Baker, Logan Carlo, Nellie Carlo-Greiner, Clara Cromwell-Richeson, William Hockman, John Richeson,
1892 - Millard Brelsford, Earl French, Cappie McClure-Michaels, Guy McElwain, Pleasant Powell, Nettie Shidler-Friauf,
Laura White, Grace Rhoades-Jones.
1893 - Eugene Brown, Daisy Cutler-Kite, 011ie Leathley-Toomire, Daisy Schull-Patrick.
1894 - Jennie Verdier-Cook, Millie Gibbs, deceased; Hairy Hawk, Emmet Kite, Emma Pond, deceased.
1895 - Frank Hanback, Wallace Hunt, Anna Jones-Brown, Otto Largent, Myrtle Musselman-Brubaker, William Runkle,
1896 - Victoria Brown-Raff, Lizzie Bull-Baker, Jackson Frank, Maud Hawk-Cox, deceased; Elma Kizer-Hunt, Jessie
Leathley, Nellie Losh.
1897 - Winifred Hutchinson-Scott, Minneta Lippincott-Cretors, Allie Rhynard, Grace Saunders-Miller, Emma Schull,
Minnie Showers-Kite, Harry Woods.
1898 - Elbert Apple, Mae Clem-Runkle, Eula Graves-Rushaw, Daisy Kite-Apple.
1899 - Elizabeth Judy-Lemmon, Katie King, Sallie Pyle-Brown, Ernest Musselman.
1900 - James Bollinger, Weber Hunt, Cecil Jones, Del Pond, Della Richeson-Sise, William Smith.
1901 - Fred Black, Freeman Bollinger, Emerson Clem, Iza Everingham-Stevens, Clarence E. Pence, Loren Pence, Claude
Rue, Walter Stevens, Blance West-Johnson.
1902 - Arthur L. Bollinger, Oasis G. Jones, Marley Leathley, Warren Stevens, Zephyr Deaton-McMorran, Hattie Mahan-Hunter,
Mae Norman-Clem, Stella Sturgeon-West.
1903 - Mary Brubaker, deceased, Bessie Dugan, Louretta Dugan, deceased; Zola Deaton-Pence, Mary Faulkner-Jones,
Mary Huffman-Weimer, Carrie Graves-Ballinger, Alice Judy-Chambers, Leah Riker, deceased; Elsor Heator, Alpha Pence,
Harley Scott, Paul Sheidler, Elba Sturgeon, deceased; Wid Sturgeon, D. A. Mower.
1904 - (Four year course) - Zola Deaton, Carrie Graves, Wid Sturgeon.
1905 - Garnard Jones, Bessie Faulkner-Stevens, Lucile Frazier, Alta Haines-Goode, Alma Leedom, Mary G. Leedom-Jones,
Hattie Mott, Nellie Magovern-Dovel, Elizabeth McMorran-Black, deceased.
1906 - Howard Becks, Ralph Garrette, Earl Zerkle, Nelle Culley, Regina McMorran, deceased.
1907 - Vera Ballinger-Armour, Frances-Black, Nellie Brown-Sturgeon, Mamie Bolinger, Jessie Fuson, Verda Klapp,
Nellie Nixon, Nora Poorman-Casebolt, Mary Richeson, Myrtle Urban-Remer, Orra Buroker, Roy Magovern, Ralph Guthridge,
Sam McMorran, Herman Nixon, Benj. H. Riker.
1908 - Fay Corey, Anna Gabriel, Mollie King, Augusta Leedom, Charles Putnam, Walter Jenkins, Thurman Huling, Leon
Goldberg, Rex, Furrow, Verda Pence:
1909 - Zetta Beatty, Fannie Cowan, Mary Dye-Sykes, Grace Goode, Flossie Hancock, Dessie Huffman, Lucinda Leedom,
Mary Poorman, Harry Hunter, Tracey Jones, Harry Manning.
1910 - Fannie Bolinger, Helen Fry, Fay Harvey, Asenath Kizer-Hanson, Jessie Nixon, Earl Guthridge, Lloyd Huffman,
Carey Kite, Byron Snyder, Luther Snyder.
1911 - Ruth Brown, Cecile Buroker, Flossie Cowan, Anita Jones, Bessie Walborn-Bruner, Cary Bowers, Walter Faulkner,
Byron Jenkins, Scott Mowan.
1912 - Flossie Bull, Adelaide Fromme-Faulkner, Marie Harmon, Tillie Kizer, Mary Mathews, Marie Neal, Grace Reed,
Naomi Shiedler, Georgia Tappy-Furrow, Olive Toomire, Leona Weaver, Ray Allison, Raymond Kemp, Harvey Loudenback.
1913 - Mabel Jenkins, Agnes King, Lucile Kite, Alta Kizer, William Lad-kin, Earle Martz, Charles Spence, Bertha
1914 - Walter Bolinger, Beulah Carmm, Catherine Mohler-Huffman, Martha Mohler, Mabel Spence, Grace Walborn.
1915 - Gladys Anderson, Ruth Berry, Marie Cory, Mary Mitchell, Oda Rhynard, Herbert Brown, Donald Bollinger, Lowell
Jones, Ralph Klapp.
1916 - Olive Kizer, Kathleen Kite, Thelma Kite, Ruth McMorran, Lucile Pence, Gladys Tomlin, Ray Apple, Laurel Gibbs,
Harold Lewis, Allen Taylor.
The citizens of St. Paris have ever been wide awake to municipal and civic improvement. After many delays and
much discussion pro and con, a municipal electric lighting plant was installed in 1899, at a cost of approximately
eighteen thousand dollars. St. Paris thus became the first town in Champaign county to own her own electric lighting
system, and among the few of her size in this section of the state. The plant has given excellent service and has
always been self supporting until within the last few months, when causes arose for which the management is not
An urgent need for better improved streets caused the leading citizens to agitate a movement to pave Springfield
street. This movement started as early as 1910, but little was accomplished until the summer of 1912. After going
through with the usual formalities the city entered into a contract with a street paving company on December 11
of the same year. However, there were many opponents, as is usually the case, and through their tireless efforts
the contract was annulled by litigation. But the issue was not long to remain dormant. The advocates of improvement
were soon at work and as a result of their efforts on February 18, 1914, the city entered into a contract with
Brewer, Thompson & Brewer, of Chillicothe, Ohio, for the paving of Springfield street. The contract was for
one dollar and fifty nine cents a square yard, which was one cent less than the former contract; but figuring the
excavation, sewer and curb construction the total cost was about the same as it would have been under the terms
of the first contract, which was lost through litigation. The street was formally accepted by the city council
on August 17, 1914.
The feeling existing between the citizens of the township and those of the town has always been very friendly.
One of the most distinct evidences of this was the erection of the town hall, which was built by the township and
town jointly. The hall is a substantial brick structure and was built in 1885. It contains the township offices,
town offices, fire department and opera house.
After the disastrous fire of November, 1883, when the whole village was practically destroyed, the citizens began
to realize the necessity of an organized fire department. This led to the final organization of a volunteer fire
department, September 19, 1884. The first men to volunteer their services were E. V. Rhodes, William H. Rnyard,
T. D. Mitchell, John McMorran, David W. Sayler, Samuel D. Richeson, Lee Evernham, A. B. Stradling, C. N. Barley,
L. W. Gibbs, John Poorman, Ira McClure, H. C. Gibbs, W. S. Jenkins, W. S. Wirick, Emmett Mott, A. Musselman and
E. G. Jones. In a short time an organization was perfected and included the following: E. V. Rhodes, president;
Ira McClure, vice president; W. K. Walbarn, secretary; T. D. Mitchell, treasurer; T. Mitchell, captain; E. V. Rhoades,
first lieutenant; A. Musselman, first hose director; W. G. Wirick, second hose director; E. G. Jones, first engineer;
John McMorran, first assistant engineer; Ira McClure, second assistant engineer. A fire engine was purchased by
the village in December, 1884, and was given its first trial in January, 1885. A fire bell weighing one thousand
pounds was procured to warn the citizens of impending danger. In March of the same year a hook and ladder truck
was purchased. In the meantime cisterns were dug in various parts of the village to provide ample water in time
of need. Nine wells and cisterns are now scattered about over the village. With a few additions the town has practically
the same equipment as was purchased in the beginning. The present organization of the department is made tip of
the following: D. E. Brown, president; L. Deal, vice president; Fred Beckwith, secretary; Frank Hawback, lieutenant;
W. Showers, treasurer; D. E. Brown, engineer; C. B. Brown, first assistant engineer; A. L. Apple, second assistant
engineer; C. B. Brown, A. L. Apple, Perry Evernham, stokers; Frank Baldorf, first hose director; Frank Hoak, second
hose director; L. Deal, Ben Jenkins, A. Wiant, J. J. Lewis, police; M. Merica, W. G. Grubbs, axemen; Asa Nitchman,
Asa Jenkins, messenger; C. C. Humphreys, captain hook and ladder; Walter Pence, assistant hook and ladder. The
department at the present time is composed of sixty men, most of whom have been in the service for years. Fred
Beckwith, the present secretary, has held this position for the past fifteen years and is one of the oldest men
in point of service in the department.
ST. PARIS SIXTY YEARS AGO.
If the historian were able to present a picture of St. Paris as it appeared sixty years ago, the residents of
the now prosperous city would hardly conceive of such wonderful changes having taken place. There were only two
or three houses on Springfield street, most of the business at that time being on Main street. One can judge of
the size of the village only by the character and number of the business interests represented at that time. They
were as follow: Rev. David Scott, merchant; J. H. Clapp, merchant; Larger & Maurer, merchants; John J. Musson,
physician and druggist; Thomas Hamilton, physician and druggist; J. Walters, tailor; Joseph Stover, National Hotel;
Jeremiah Dippery, carpenter and joiner; Jacob Trout, carpenter and joiner; T. W. Flowers, daguerreotypist; E. Runkle,
rectifier and liquor dealer; Joseph W. Heterick, painter; John C. Clem, baker and grocer; Wells & Huffman,
saw and grist mill; F. F. Stovers, "tobacconist"; Snapp, Buroker & Batdorf, saw mill, grist mill
and distillery; Francis West, postmaster.
At one time in the history of St. Paris three distilleries were in operation within what are now the limits of
the corporation. One of these was run by Samuel Bowersock and was located on the site of the elevator along the
Pennsylvania tracks. Bowersock also operated a store in connection with the distillery. Another was located on
the site now occupied by the Flaig lumber yard. In connection with this latter distillery was a saw and grist mill,
both of which burned after a few years of operation. The distiller of the pioneer days paid very little tax upon
his product. In the first place the tax was not nearly so high as at the present time; and secondly, the amount
taxed was very small, in comparison to the amount manufactured. It was no uncommon sight in St. Paris, just a few
days before the assessor was to appear, to see men scurrying in all directions with whiskey jugs, which were not
taken to their homes, but hidden in the hushes and weeds until after the tax assessor had passed on.
BUSINESS INTERESTS IN 1872.,
The business interests of forty five years ago bear little relation to the business of today. At that time there
were two carriage factories in operation, one by H. Saylor, and the other by Kemp, Beck & Fry. Competition
between them seems to have been keen, as both were very liberal advertisers. Saylor in one of his advertisements
disclosed that he wished to call special attention to his new patent fifth wheel, made of cast steel, and also
to a most complete arrangement for raising and lowering of a buggy top. He also says that his prices are lower
than at any other place in the state. The advertisements of Kemp, Beck & Fry declare that they were taking
great pains to secure the most competent workmen, to select the best materials, and consequently were turning out
some of the best work in the state. Especial attention was called to the Eureka carriage, which could be transformed
from a single to a double seated vehicle in a moment.
Other business interests at that time included the following: Brubaker & McMorran, bankers and brokers; John
Baker, physician; J. M. Band, hardware; Jeremiah Bau, blacksmith; J. K. Furrow, groceries; W. T. Ellston, flour
mill; S. Gibbs & Company, boots and shoes; J. M. French, furniture dealer; Thomas A. Hoburn, blacksmith; Levi
Hochman, carpenter; David S. Helmick, store; Samuel Johnson, blacksmith; Riser & Long, lumber dealers; William
Marshall, livery; J. W. Millett, harness shop; J. F. Riker & Company, lumber manufacturers; David Strock, grain
dealer; J. J. Young, proprietor United States Hotel; G. W. Verdier, livery and feed stable.
Sixty years ago St. Paris was considered little more than a crossroads hamlet. There was only one brick building
in the village and it stood on the corner of Springfield and Plum streets. At that time all of the land south of
the home of Mrs. Harriett Brubaker was in cultivation, and there in the summer were raised bountiful crops of corn
and oats. Opposite her home in Springfield street was a mud hole that in wet weather seemed to have no bottom.
Many an unsuspecting traveler found himself in the mire and required the assistance of men and teams to extricate
him from his predicament. Across the little stream that now flows under Springfield street was an old wooden bridge.
During the early days an omnibus carried transients from the railroad station to the hotel. On one occasion when
the 'bus was making a hurried drive to the station, it struck the old wooden bridge and the structure collapsed,
dumping the horses, 'bus and occupants into the stream.
Springfield street fifty or sixty years ago was little better than a frog pond. For about nine months out of the
year the street was almost impassable, a condition which caused numerous accidents. During the slimmer months the
street grew up in weeds and grass.
CURRENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.
The business and professional interests of St. Paris during the summer of 1917 were in the hands of the following:
B. T. Apple, grocer; Charles Arbogust, blacksmith; George Armbrust, tinner; Auto Sales and Garage Company; Baker
& Van Culin, insurance; George Baldwin and Son, millers; B. F. Baker, druggist; Batdorf and Berry, general
store; Ira A. Beaty, pianos and real estate; Beckwith & Wank, pool room; Alva C. Bolinger, attorney; E. F.
Brown, grocery; D. E. Brown, grocery; Brown & Wiant, News-Dispatch; William Briggs, grocery; Charles E. Buroker,
attorney; J. F. Calvin, insurance; Central National Bank; Clark's Variety Store; Mrs. Costenborder & Son, grocery;
J. B. Creators, manufacturer of rubber goods; James A. Curry, grocery; John H. Domigan, livery and sales stable;
Duncan Seed Company; Redding Everett, concrete blocks; Farmers' Poultry Company; S. H. Faulkner, insurance; J.
P. Feaster, drayman; First National Bank; W. Flaig, lumber; J. W. Flinn, dentist; C. S. French, veterinary; Fromme
& Nixon, furniture and undertaking; Furnas-Brown Grain Company; D. L. Goldberg, jeweler; M. H. Guthridge, dentist;
T. L. Hahn, pumps and repairing; Dr. J. H. Hampshire, physician; W. H. Heater, jeweler; Harry Hole, poultry dealer;
W. C. Humphreys, pool room; Dr. H. B. Hunt, physician; E. D. Hutchinson, grauite works; J. M. Ingells, grocery;
W. J. Jenkins, dray and transfer; Jones & Son, drugs; S. E. Kite, implements; Frank Knull, pool room; Hiram
Knull, meat market and grocery; William Lee, garage; L. W. Lindsley, Kline Hotel; Lock Two Grain and Milling Company;
W. F. Losh, hardware; Harry Luxon, grocery; Joseph Malmberry, livery and feed stable; Charles Maxon, green house;
Grant McMorran, grain dealer; Martha Mohler, millinery; E. Musselman, drugs; Amiceto Napoli, confectionery; W.
F. E. Offenbacher, bakery; Morris Powers, clothing and furniture; George Price & Son, coal dealers; John Prinz,
bakery; Proctor & Sturgeon, hardware and harness; Reuler & Leonard, dry goods; Isadore Reamer, women's
clothing; Dale Runkle, barber, Frank Rushaw, barber; Rushaw and Jenks, millinery; E. T. Schooler, drayman; Wesley
Showers, blacksmith; John Shucraft, barber; C. E. Smith, painting and repairing; Sam Stone, hardware; St. Paris
Grain Company; Mrs. Hattie Taylor, milliner; C. O. Tomlin, plumber; I. Urban, clothing; Asa Wiant, grocery.
The oldest men in point of business experience now living at St. Paris are I. P. Kizer and G. P. Shidler, both
of whom were in business for approximately forty five years. J. H. Biddle, the present postmaster, up to the time
he received the appointment as postmaster was in the grocery business for nearly thirty years. Until March, 1914,
there had been a Biddle grocery in St. Paris for fifty three years. In 1864, John Biddle, the father of J. H. Biddle,
moved from Addison, now Christiansburg, to St. Paris and opened a grocery store.
YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION.
A Young Men's Christian Association was organized at St. Paris on November 7, 1876, with forty three members
and the following officers: E. S. Faucett, president; G. W. Kelley, vice president; John McMorran, secretary; William
Henderson, treasurer. Rooms were rented, regular meetings held and for many years the association was one of the
greatest agencies for good in the community. However, by July, 1880, interest in the work had become so listless
that the organization had to be abandoned/. The last officers included the following: W. N. Reinhard, president;
James Brokaw, vice president; J. N. McAllister, secretary; Augustus Leedom, treasurer. Since 1880 the association
has not been rejuvenated.
ST. PARIS ROLLER MILLS.
The St. Paris roller mills were established in 1890, by W. J. Jenkins and John Dudleston. These men operated
the mill until 1893, when Jenkins purchased the interests of his partner and continued in the business until April
17, 1899. At that time he sold to the firm of Printz & Baldwin. The present owners are George Baldwin &
Son. The mill is a three story structure and has a daily capacity of eighty barrels. The special brand of flour
manufactured is "White Star" which is widely known and used in this section of the state.
The St. Paris roller mill is the only flour mill within a radius of eleven miles and consequently there is a large
demand for its product. The wheat raised around St. Paris is as good as any raised in Ohio, a fact which enables
the mill to turn out excellent flour.
COMMUNITY BOOSTERS CLUB.
At a mass meeting held on February 9, 1914, at the mayor's office, the Community Boosters Club of St. Paris
was organized. As the name implies it was the intention of the club to reach beyond the operation of a business
men's club. At the first meeting the following organization was perfected: Albert Fromme, president; Guy W. Reuter,
secretary; F. C. Batdorf, first vice president; B. A. Taylor, second vice president; Wallace Hunt, treasurer; C.
M. Duncan, Harry Luxon, L. E. Brown, Henry Flaig, J. B. Cretors and P. H. Berry, board of directors. Thirty two
business men and citizens joined the club at the first meeting.
According to the constitution that was adopted the object of the club was to create and maintain a civic spirit,
to promote community ethics, to discover and correct such abuses as outside patronage, conserve local capital in
home enterprises, and to advance commercial, educational, manufacturing and municipal interests. One of the chief
things that has been accomplished by the club was making the way possible for the "Great White Way,"
consisting of eighteen five light standards of cluster lights. The total cost of this improvement was $1,037.40,
one half of which was met by the club and popular subscription. The remainder of the expense was met by the town
council. The lights at the exterme north were paid for by G. Lear Smith, Dr. B. F. Baker and John Duncan. The activities
of the club have become limited and it is now practically dormant.
Doubtless the greatest disaster that has ever befallen St. Paris was a fire that occurred on Thanksgiving morning,
1883. The fire started in a tinshop and spread with such fury that the entire business district was wiped out.
In the summer of the following year the fire swept district was mostly built up with modern and substantial brick
A few years ago the town was stirred from center to circumference by the greatest religious revival ever known
in these parts. A tabernacle was erected and six weeks of services were conducted by Evangelist Wilson under whose
exhortations nearly three hundred and fifty persons professed conversion.
The first annual chautauqua at St. Paris was held on August 19-23, 1914, and so well pleased were the people that
the chautauqua has become a permanent institution.
The experience of St. Paris in securing various manufacturing plants has not been altogether successful. During
the past two decades a number of industrial plants have been started in the city, but today there is only one of
these many establishments which is in successful operation. Most of these industries have been financed by local
capital, but since their management was in the hands of outside persons, they have proven uniformly unsuccessful.
There have been many reasons assigned for the failure of these several establishments, but whatever the cause may
have been the fact rmains that they have not been a good investment for local capitalists.
A resume of this series of unfortunate manufacturing enterprises shows that no fewer than seven industries have
been established in the city only to operate for a time and then close down, leaving the local investor wondering
where he is going to get any return for the money he invested in the' plant. It is said that practically every
man with a few hundred dollars to invest has been at one time pr another interested in one of these enterprises.
And the story of each has been the same an initial appearance of success, followed in due course of time with the
announcement that the plant was In the hands of a receiver.